There are some nights when you just want a creamy pasta full of flavor and packed with protein. Regular Alfredo won’t do and you aren’t interested in meat sauce. I’ve had a lot of those nights, which is why this chicken carbonara recipe is hands down one of my favorite Italian dishes to make.
They don’t tell you to do this, but I have a little tip about that. It speeds things up and helps the pasta behave if you add a lot of salt and a little bit of olive oil to the water. Some people add the olive oil after they drain the pasta, but I find that that makes the sauce run off of it. Whereas the oil in the water helps to keep the pasta from clumping together as it cooks.
Those are the only tricks to making great pasta. Other than that, the whole recipe is basically just getting the sauce right and, well, how do you mess up chicken carbonara? If you’ve never tried this popular pasta dish, here is a bit of information to help you understand why this particular pasta creation is absolute perfection on a plate.
What is Chicken Carbonara?
So, the first question about chicken carbonara that most people want to know is, “what is it?”. The short answer is it’s a cream sauce with chicken and bacon. It’s also made with eggs as you will soon see. The result is a devilishly rich concoction that requires a hearty pasta such as fettuccini or a solid penne to do it justice.
Besides the thickness and the richness of chicken carbonara, the high protein sauce brings a savory edge due to the combination of meats and the parmesan or pecorino cheese that traditionally comes with it. Although chicken is most often included, carbonara on its own is not a chicken dish, the most important ingredients are the egg, bacon (or ham) pepper, and cheese.
What’s In Chicken Carbonara?
Chicken carbonara can be a very basic dish. The carbonara sauce includes relatively few ingredients, but I add a little bit more just to round out the flavor and give it more pizzazz. However, even my little additions like garlic and onion are pretty typical and commonly used for this purpose. I also add parsley for color.
The flavor of the parsley may not be that noticeable in the recipe, but it does have a visual impact, which is important. Even though it is subtle, I believe the flavor component is important, too although you may not notice it, you would most likely feel like something was missing if the parsley wasn’t there.
Pairing rich creamy carbonara with big chunks of chicken breast is a stroke of genius. and although it doesn’t have to go on pasta, fettuccini is the best way to enjoy this phenomenal recipe.
How Do You Make Chicken Carbonara at Home?
Making chicken carbonara at home is simple. There are basically three things, maybe four, depending on how you look at it. The pasta is easy. You hardly have to think about it.
The real effort of making this dish goes into the preparation of the chicken and the carbonara respectively. The bacon part of the carbonara is its own step, but all in all, it’s not a complicated recipe to follow and the results are exceptional.
To prepare the chicken you must start with the bacon. You use the bacon grease to sauté the onions in. You should leave the bacon out before cooking so that it can come up to room temperature first. Then fry it in the preheated pan until crispy. Don’t let the pan get too hot as you want the bacon fat to slowly render.
After the bacon is removed and you are sautéing the onion, add your chicken to the pan. The chicken should be cut into manageable pieces. It can be sliced or diced as long as you can handle it without the use of a knife as you eat the pasta. Add additional seasonings and cook the chicken through before moving onto the rest of the carbonara sauce.
When the chicken is done, you’ll add the pasta and reduce the heat while you mix the remaining ingredients for the carbonara. This is also a good time to chop up your bacon and add it to the simmering pasta. Mix the egg with the parmesan and parsley and mix it into the pasta until it reaches your desired creaminess.
How to Reheat Chicken Carbonara
Pasta dishes are notoriously difficult to reheat without drying. I usually try to save it by adding a little bit of butter before putting it in the microwave. However, that’s not the best way to go. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a catch 22, because pasta reheats best if you can keep the pasta and sauce separate, but this recipe calls for mixing the sauce into the pasta as it cooks.
The trick to solving this problem is to forget all about the microwave. Set your carbonara out on the counter to bring it up to room temperature. Preheat the stove to medium and add a teaspoon of oil to your pan.
Once the carbonara is ready to go in, let it warm up for about five minutes, stirring enough that the whole thing gets evenly heated. Be careful not to let the sauce clump up, which will result from having the heat too high.
How to Make Without Pasta
Although carbonara is most frequently served with pasta, you can prepare it in other ways and for other purposes. Remember Quiznos Chicken Carbonara sub? If you want to make the sauce without the pasta, it’s easy to do. Just make sure that you cut the chicken appropriately for whatever dish you plan to make.
Ingredients For Chicken Carbonara
- Fettuccine Noodles
- Chicken Breast
- Parmesan Cheese
How to Make Chicken Carbonara
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy.
- Remove bacon from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Reserve 2 tablespoon of bacon grease in skillet, add onions and sauté until tender.
- Next, add chicken and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Cook over medium/high heat until chicken is no longer pink.
- Reduce heat to low, add bacon and cooked noodles to skillet. Toss together.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs, parmesan cheese, and parsley together.
- Pour egg mixture over pasta and toss until fully combined.
- Add 1 tablespoon at a time of pasta water into skillet until desired creamy consistency is obtained.
- Remove from heat.
- Top with parmesan cheese and parsley, then serve immediately.
Try This Delicious Chicken Recipe Today
And, here are a few more delicious recipes that can be found on the blog:
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Sausage Alfredo Pasta
- Bow Tie Pasta Lasagna
And a delicious Butter Chicken recipe from Deliciously Seasoned that you might enjoy as well.
A delicious chicken and pasta recipe that is loaded with deliciously seasoned chicken, crispy bacon, fettuccine pasta and a creamy sauce.
- 16 ounce fettuccine noodles
- 6 slices bacon, crispy, crumbled
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup parsley
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for until crispy. Remove from skillet, place on a plate lined with paper towels.
Reserve 2 tablespoon of bacon grease in skillet, add onions and sauté until tender.
Next, add chicken and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Stir.
Cook over medium/high heat until chicken is no longer pink.
Reduce heat to low, add bacon and cooked noodles to skillet. Toss together.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs, parmesan cheese, and parsley together.
Pour egg mixture over pasta and toss until fully combined.
Add 1 tablespoon at a time (of reserved pasta water) until desired creamy consistency is obtained. Remove from heat once thoroughly heated.
Top with parmesan cheese and parsley.
Recipe inspired from delish.com
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.